Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pothole's own country

The title, I believe, is quite self explanatory. Though quite blunt and probably even offending, it is the reality. Come rainy season, and we have potholes and gutters( read, ponds and lakes) emerging on the roads from nowhere. Pedestrians cannot walk on the roads without stepping to atleast one of these. Either you have to master the art of recognising and then jumping across wide puddles and potholes, or else you have to put up with stepping into all of them. And if you are lucky enough, you might even manage to fall into a drainage which hasn't been cleaned for ages(read, maybe from the days of Hitler)

Pictures of people falling into ditches and potholes on roads are scattered across the newspapers almost everyday. No wonder, accident rates go up during rainy season. It is something like a chain reaction. One person falls into a pothole, the next one trips over him, and so on. Whilst many people across the world travel to Kerala to witness the monsoon, is this what we want to show them? Let alone visitors, think about school children who have to bear the brunt. Most cities now have school roads, which are designed with school children in mind. But here, in Kochin, we have our school children having a hard time walking to their schools. By the time they reach, they are all wet and dirty.

Now the question is, do we want this drama of filling potholes and gutters every year? It has almost become like this annual ritual. You have rains coming, potholes emerging, and then newspapers and channels reporting it, and then as a concluding ceremony, the PWD department filling the holes, only to go through the whole cycle once again, next year. Maybe, it is high time we re-think the tar and bituminous type of road surfacing that we have.

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